Kilili joins call for longer review time for draft EIS

Delegate George Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) said he supports the calls for an extension on the review period for the draft environmental impact statement on “live-fire” military exercises on the CNMI.

“What the U.S. military is proposing will have a significant and long lasting impact on our community and everyone should take full advantage of the opportunity to make their views known during the public comment period,” Sablan said.

The delegate said if more time is needed for technical analysis of the draft EIS, then “it would be the right thing for the military to extend the comment period.”

Other lawmakers in the CNMI have also called for an extension of the review period.

The Tinian and Aguiguan Legislative Delegation last week passed a resolution “vehemently” supporting Gov. Eloy S. Inos’ request for the extension of the comment period of the draft EIS.

The lawmakers are supporting other options for the military exercises, including a “No-Action Alternative.”

Show of force

Some lawmakers on Capital Hill also vowed to invite their respective constituents to attend the public hearings on Saipan and Tinian.

Rep. Joseph Lee Pan Guerrero (R-Saipan) said he will invite constituents to attend the hearing.

He said has a lot of questions for the military, including specific reasons on why the CNMI was selected for the military exercises instead of other areas.

Earlier, PaganWatch founder Pete Perez said the group has been reactivated to respond to the challenge of protecting the Commonwealth’s islands from the U.S. military’s intention to use them as bombing ranges.

“We have teamed with Guardians of Gani, another local grassroots group opposed to the destruction of our beautiful islands. Together we are hosting ‘Alternative Zero,’ a local perspective event that will take place at the entrances to the three military draft EIS public hearings,” he said.

The public hearings are scheduled to be held on Wednesday, April 29, 2015, from 4pm to 9pm, at the Saipan Southern High School cafeteria; Thursday, April 30, 2015, from 4pm to 9pm, at the Tinian Junior Senior High School cafeteria; and Friday, May 1, 2015, from 4pm to 9pm, at the Garapan Elementary School.

“The military wants Alternative 1, Alternative 2, or Alternative 3—all variations on bombing our islands for practice. We want Alternative Zero—peaceful and productive use of our land and waters for the benefit of the people,” Perez said.

He said, “Alternative Zero will inform the public as to the true nature of the military’s intention—the realities of turning beautiful islands into bombing ranges.”

“It will also educate people about non-destructive alternatives for Tinian and Pagan,” he added.

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Joel D. Pinaroc | Reporter
Joel Pinaroc worked for a number of newspapers in the Philippines before joining the editorial team of Saipan Tribune. His published articles include stories on information technology, travel and lifestyle, and motoring, among others. Contact him at joel_pinaroc@saipantribune.com.

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